Charity auction in Brooklyn raised over R500 000 for two South African non-profit organisations.
Brooklyn, New York – In an unprecedented and historic move, former American boxing promoter – Joel Berman – hosted a charity benefit to help raise funds for two South African organisations; namely Operation Smile South Africa and Ubuntu Pathways.
Operation Smile South Africa (OSSA) is a non-profit medical service organisation that provides free cleft lip and cleft palate reconstructive surgery and has – since 2006 – seen its medical volunteers provide over 6,000 free surgeries to children and adults throughout Southern and Central Africa. Every three minutes, a child is born somewhere in the world with a cleft lip or cleft palate; about one in 500-750 births. It takes medical volunteers at OSSA as little as 45 minutes to repair a child’s cleft condition, giving them a smile and the chance to live a happy and healthy life.
Ubuntu Pathways is a non-profit organisation that is based in the heart of the townships in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The main objective of the organisation is to offer the youth an integrated system of health, education and social support as they believe that these are fundamental components in the growth of a child.
The event – aptly named Fight for Good – was held at the world famous Gleason’s Gym in Dumbo, Brooklyn, New York on Thursday, 25 April 2019 and saw almost 200 people in attendance. Twenty artworks and sculptures created by renowned South African artists, as well as boxing gloves signed by Floyd Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya, were auctioned off by South African auctioneer Ariella Kuper to raise funds for both organisations.
The event, which raised just over $40,000 (R570 000) was a resounding success and looks to be the first of many similar collaborative events in the near future.
“Fight for Good was an absolute knock out,” says Lauren Bright, Country Manager for Operation Smile South Africa.
“The concept of hosting a charity auction in Brooklyn, New York to support two South African non-profit organisations was definitely a novel one, but it paid off and was met with rave reviews by all who attended.”
Attendees were particularly in awe of the South African artwork on auction, and it’s confirmed that Ozark actor, Marc Menchaca, purchased a piece via a silent auction and is said to be over the moon with his purchase.
Host committee members included the likes of South African model Nicola Breytenbach, international model and Operation Smile ambassador Pritika Swarup, and the famous USA human and dog Instagram duo better known as Topher Brophy (the human part of the duo) and Rosenberg the Dog.
“Operation Smile South Africa was so excited to have co-hosted the amazing event together with the incredible Ubuntu Pathways. Both non-profit organisations strongly believe in the power of collaboration and to be able to host this benefit in New York, at the iconic Gleason’s Gym, was a collaborative gamechanger for both parties,” adds Bright.
The event, which raised just over $40,000, was a resounding success and looks to be the first of many similar collaborative events in the near future.
“Ubuntu Pathways was thrilled to have joined forces with Operation Smile South Africa on such an experiential event,” adds Travis Randall, Director, United States of Ubuntu Pathways.
“We have been working with vulnerable children in South Africa for two decades, and it’s a pleasure to partner with another organisation that has a long history of impacting children’s lives.”